Steve Sodje

*Indicates unconfirmed information. Figures in brackets after English team names indicate all appearances made and goals scored in competitive matches for Football League clubs from 1888 onwards. For Scottish League clubs the figures show details of all competitive appearances and goals scored from 1946/47 onwards.

Steve Sodje

Appearances: 1+1 Goals: 0

Date / Year of birth: 1974*

Position: Defender / Utility

Season of first appearance: 1996/97

Season of last appearance: 1996/97

Also played for: Welling United, Fisher Athletic (London), Sheppey United, Erith & Belvedere, Cray Wanderers, Herne Bay, Whitstable Town, Braintree Town, Tonbridge Angels, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Ashford Town, Metropolitan Police, Tunbridge Wells and Bexley Borough

Tall, enthusiastic, versatile left-sided player who started his career with Welling. Steve was with the Wings during the 1995/96 season and he also had spells with Sheppey and Fisher before linking up with Erith & Belvedere in October 1996.

He left the Deres to join Margate on trial at the start of February 1997.

On 4.2.97 Steve scored twice for the reserves in a 6-0 win over Corinthian at Hartsdown Park and on 8.2.97 he made his first team debut when he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 home defeat against Weymouth. The Thanet Times described him as being "giant" and his appearance made him the first of three Sodje brothers to play for Margate. Steve would later be followed by Akpo (2001/02) and Sam (2002/03 and 2003/04). Steve then played in the centre of Margate's defence in a 2-1 defeat at Witney on 15.2.97 before returning to Erith & Belvedere soon afterwards.

He left the Deres to sign for Cray during the 1997/98 season but briefly returned for a second spell at the start of 1999.

Steve spent the 1999/00 campaign with Herne Bay and then moved on to Whitstable in July 2000. After two years with the Oystermen he rejoined Welling in the summer of 2002.

On 30.4.03 Steve was sent off as Welling lost 2-1 at home to Margate in the Kent Senior Cup Final and his brother Sam was in the Margate line-up that day. Steve was dismissed after managing to pick up two bookings within ten minutes of coming on as an extra time substitute.

In the summer of 2003 Steve went back to Erith & Belvedere for a third spell and played alongside his brother Akpo there during the 2003/04 season.

Steve left the Deres to join Braintree for 2004/05 and on 16.10.04 he scored for them in a 3-1 home win over Margate in the FA Cup. He was released by the Essex club in November 2004 having scored twice in 21 appearances, 17 of them as a substitute. Braintree's manager George Borg said "he's a lovely lad and I wish him all the best."

Steve soon signed for Tonbridge and scored five minutes into his debut as the Angels drew 2-2 at Hampton & Richmond on 20.11.04. In February 2005 he was due to be released for financial reasons but instead offered to play for free and in March Tonbridge's chairman Paul Dainty was quoted as saying "Steve Sodje is an example of what this club needs now. Steve was going to be released by the club a month ago, he accepted that but asked to stay with the club, without being paid, to try to help the club stay in this division." Steve ended up on a deal where he was paid when he scored but the Angels fans also chipped in so that he made about £60 per match. He eventually left Tonbridge in June 2005 having scored six goals in 19 league appearances (six as sub).

Steve then signed a one-year contract with Hampton & Richmond but in March 2006 he returned to Tonbridge on loan. His Hampton contract was cancelled during the loan spell so he became an Angels player again on a permanent basis.

At the end of the 2005/06 season Steve left Tonbridge once more and didn't play at all during the first half of 2006/07 due to business commitments. He returned to football in January 2007 when he signed for Ashford.

Steve scored four goals in 19 league appearances (eight as sub) for Ashford before the end of the 2006/07 campaign and then played ten times (six as sub) without scoring at the start of 2007/08 before joining Metropolitan Police at the end of November 2007.

Steve's stay with the Met was brief and he scored once in three league appearances before leaving the club.

In June 2008 he linked up with Croydon but left them before the start of the 2008/09 season proper. Steve switched to Tunbridge Wells instead but left the club after just a few weeks.

In March 2010 Steve returned to football when he joined Kent County League club Bexley Borough. He made a few appearances before the end of the 2009/10 season and scored three goals but he didn't play for the club during 2010/11.

On 12.5.12 Steve took part in Bill Edwards' testimonial at Hartsdown Park.

His older brother Efe was a well-known Football League player who was capped by Nigeria and his cousin Onome played non-league football. Another brother called Bright played Rugby League for teams including Sheffield Eagles and Steve also had a sister who was a successful athlete.











1996/97 (MFC)

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